The Peak and The Pit of 2016: My Year in Review.

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2016, what a year! Many people are anxious to get this year over with – for understandable reasons – and I’ve had my share of personal high’s and low’s, too. Looking back, I have to say it was a year of new beginnings and the most productive year of my life.

Here are some highlights from 2016 as I weigh out the pros and cons and finally my New Year’s resolution.

Getting married!

  • Peak: Just look at her! (above)
  • Pit: Wedding week stress!

Buying a brand-new condo

  • Peak: Finally a place to call my own after years of homelessness.
  • Pit: Designing the whole thing from Germany.

Grammy nomination

  • Peak: The honor of being nominated for the most prestigious award in my field.
  • Pit: My custom-built Grammy mantle will be a waste if I don’t win.

My Verdi debut as Germont

  • Peak: Finally getting to dip my toes into bigger rep.
  • Pit: Not diving head first into the Verdi pool…yet.
Lyric Opera of Chicago - Les Troyens Dress Rehearsal
Lyric Opera of Chicago – Les Troyens Dress Rehearsal

My first Berlioz role

  • Peak: Working with one of my favorite companies with some of my favorite people.
  • Pit: the 2 1/2 hour break in the middle of my part.

Winning San Francisco Opera’s Emerging Star of 2016

  • Peak: Making my fans proud.
  • Pit: I can’t possibly imagine a pit.

I lost 50 pounds and became a vegan

  • Peak: I feel and look better than ever!
  • Pit: Man, I really miss a good burger every now and again…
Backstage with Lang Lang at Staatskapelle Dresden's "Silvesterkonzert" on New Year's Eve
Backstage with Lang Lang at Staatskapelle Dresden’s “Silvesterkonzert” on New Year’s Eve

Performing in Dresden Staatskapelle’s Silvester Konzert

  • Peak: Singing I Love Paris and holding the French flag to my heart after the shootings.
  • Second Peak: Working with Lang Lang Pit: Serious jet lag.

Performing a song recital with my wife in San Francisco

  • Peak: collaborating with the love of my life.
  • Pit: learning all that German text!

Premiering Dresden’s new production of Don Giovanni

  • Peak: Singing one of my favorites roles with a new director I am a huge fan of Andreas Kriegenburg.
  • Pit: realizing the only place to bath in our apartment rental was in the tub in the bedroom…

Stepping in last minute as Eugene Onegin at Berlin’s Komische Oper

  • Peak: the rush of a 3 day rehearsal period with 5 days notice.
  • Second Peak: working with Barry Kosky.
  • Pit: missing the midnight bus to Berlin from Dresden and spending the night in a shady motel to take the 6 am train before my first sing-through.
Backstage with Teemo at the Chicago Lyric Opera
Backstage with Teemo at the Chicago Lyric Opera

Adopting a rescue dog

  • Peak: Giving a life of love, safety, and happiness to our little pup.
  • Pit: Early morning pee runs and separation anxiety.

Now comes the time for that nifty ol’ resolution of the next year. 2016 was filled with new and bigger roles for me. I feel my voice expanding, especially in the upper register, and I’m beginning to venture into a bigger repertoire.

For 2017, I would love to further this venture and explore the possibilities of more Verdi, especially, as well as other larger repertoire. I want to put myself out there as an emerging Verdi baritone and try out more roles. This entails getting the word out, taking a few risks, and most of all, being smart about my singing technique.

I’ve been loving my more active social media lifestyle and I would love to continue that too. These blogs have been so fulfilling for me, and I want to stay even more connected with my fan base while getting the word out about opera and its cool factor.

As a colleague, I’ve adopted a more positive outlook on things and it’s given me more personal happiness. I love being an easy co-worker, but even more so I want to be someone who people enjoy working with and who makes their day better and more fun. We have a lot of work to do in the rehearsal rooms, so why not enjoy the work and each other?

For a very personal resolution, I want to be the best husband I can be for my new wife. This entails supporting her dreams as much as mine, working together as a team every day, and enjoying life as it comes to us. She is the most amazing influence on my life and she always believes in me. I couldn’t imagine a better partner for me and I want to return all of the love and support she has given me.

Most of all I want to live in the present, put the phone down, and cherish the moments in front of me. With my busy lifestyle and moving around so much, I’m required to look ahead and plan for my next adventure (too much sometimes!) and I lose focus on what’s in front of me. After a while of this, those adventures pass me by too quickly and I before I know it, another year has gone by much too fast.

Here’s to 2017, a year of bigger rep, more connectivity, more positivity, and overall happiness!

0 thoughts on “The Peak and The Pit of 2016: My Year in Review

  1. Great chronology of the year Lucas! That’s so funny that you were a last minute replacement for Eugene Onegin as you stepped in at the last minute at SFO when I was a chorus member in 2004. At least this time you had more than a day’s notice!
    Congratulations on a great year and best wishes for the years to come.
    You are an intelligent singer are letting your voice tell you when it’s ready for the heavier roles. My sister, Luana DeVol, ran her career that way and so sang until she was 65 and only retired because her knees were giving out!

    1. What a great memory that Onegin in 2004 was for me as well Norm. I’m always so happy when someone brings it up. Thanks for the kind words and the well wishing. All the best to you and your sisters knees!!!

  2. Congratulations Mr. Meachem on a truly exhilarating year in review. My name is Christy Holland and I’m an education news reporter for the Aberdeen Times in North Carolina. I’m writing a story about you and would like to interview you for the article which will also be covering the upcoming Piquet Music Festival and Scholarship for the annual music festival.

    As a recipient of the scholarship in 1995, I hope that you would be able to encourage some young artists to keep following their dreams despite the state’s efforts to cut funding in the arts.

    Please call me at 910-603-1655 or email me at [email protected]. I look forward to talking with you and again congratulations on your Grammy nod!

    Christy Holland

  3. Lucas I saw you as Malatesta at PBO Last year and you were terrific. I am so pleased for you for your new state of fitness–I can only imagine how much better you feel, and now certain presenters will have to put their money……

    Kudos to you and wishing you much happiness in the New Year

    1. Thanks for the compliment on the PBO Pasquale. I’m feeling great and hope to do better and better in the future. Now that I’m writing about the weight loss so publicly it does tend to make it easier on me not to regress. If I gained all the weight back now I have a lot more at stake than before. It’s been a great motivator to keep the weight off talking about it so openly.

  4. Loved seeing you in Chicago. What an amazing cast you had! And you look great! Hope to see you again soon…

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